Abel, Earth’s roaming steward, and Cain, Earth’s settled owner, could never have lived peaceably. The relationship between those who follow Earth’s ever-changing movements, and those who try to shackle Earth to their whims, will inevitably turn violent, as they forever cross purposes. Van Ham sees a late anti-urban allegory here, much like Jacques Ellul, and his exposition of two ultimately incompatible systems permeates his book.
This moral vision differentiates Van Ham from the numerous voices already propounding similar messages. While Wendell Berry, for instance, shares Van Ham’s faith, Berry frequently avoids current events, focusing on transcendent, almost mystical themes. McKibben, though a professed Christian, prefers scientific arguments, using spirituality sparingly. Van Ham’s moral catholicity claims the broad middle ground between these visions, the domain where most Americans live, but where environmentalists fear to tread.
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